Agenda and minutes

External Services Select Committee
Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Nikki O'Halloran  01895 250472

Link: Watch a LIVE or archived broadcast of this meeting here

No. Item


Apologies for absence and to report the presence of any substitute Members


Apologies had been received from Councillors Simon Arnold (Councillor Nicola Brightman was present as his substitute), Darran Davies and Devi Radia. 


Declarations of Interest in matters coming before this meeting


There were no delarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting. 


Exclusion of Press and Public

To confirm that all items marked Part I will be considered in public and that any items marked Part II will be considered in private


RESOLVED:  That all items of business be considered in public. 


Minutes of the previous meeting - 7 October 2021 pdf icon PDF 151 KB


RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2021 be agreed as a correct record. 


Journalism and Local Democracy pdf icon PDF 79 KB


The Chairman welcomed those present to the meeting. 


Mrs Rachel Sharp advised that she was a senior lecturer at Brunel University, the Head of the undergraduate journalism course and editor of Hillingdon Herald.  She had started her career as a reporter at the Hillingdon Times, then became editor of the publication and then became group editor for seven titles across West London. 


After six years of working at Brunel University, Mrs Sharp had achieved her ambition of launching a local paper in Hillingdon: the Hillingdon Herald.  Given the huge decline in local news coverage, it was thought that there was a demand for printed news that was not being met and the Hillingdon Herald aimed to address this.  It was acknowledged that, currently, the Hillingdon Herald had the luxury of not being reliant on advertising revenue. 


Currently, the Hillingdon Herald news team included 15 Masters students who worked as Section Editors.  There were also around 25 third year students, 20 second year students and 20 first year students.  The work undertaken by the undergraduates varied depending on the amount of time they had been on the course.  A number of politics students had also asked to write for the paper but had been advised that they would not be permitted to do opinion pieces. 


Distribution of the Hillingdon Herald had started with 14,000 copies for the first issue in October and had risen to 20,000 for the second.  Mrs Sharp advised that the Christmas issue was likely to be a 20,000 print run.  Copies of the first issue had been delivered door to door using a random distribution of postcodes.  New stands had now been sourced for libraries across the Borough and copies had been distributed to various faith venues.  It was suggested that Members could be used to help with the distribution in target areas. 


As a senior lecturer, Mrs Sharp taught her journalism students about a range of issues including defamation and contempt.  She also taught a number of units directly related to local government as councils were thought to be the bread and butter of local journalism.  These units included capital and revenue expenditure, the different council structures, electoral processes, roles and responsibilities. 


As students were often unaware of the role of Councillors, it was important that they gained an understanding so that they could then pass this on to the general public.  The majority of Hillingdon Herald readers were either residents, worked in the Borough or had children who went to school in Hillingdon and therefore wanted to know what was going on in the Borough. 


The second edition of Hillingdon Herald had been published in November 2021 and continued to be well received by the public.  Mrs Sharp hoped that this publication would mark the start of a resurgence of proper local reporting which went down to a very local level.  That said, she was aware that even within the Borough, the challenges varied from ward to ward. 


Mrs Sharp advised that journalists used  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the Committee’s Work Programme.  It was agreed that palliative care and hospice provision be included as a future topic for consideration by the Committee.  This would include the palliative care provided at home as well as care provided for children and young people.


RESOLVED:  That the Work Programme, as amended, be agreed.